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Puerto Rican relief on the menu at Brothers Deli

(Owen O'Rourke)

LYNN — As Puerto Rico continues to recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria, Brothers Deli and the Lynn community tried to provide some relief on Sunday.

George Markos, owner of Brothers Deli, said $5,200 was raised during the event, with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward the people of Puerto Rico.

From 3 to 7 p.m., patrons were asked to donate $17, and would receive a roast beef or chicken dinner, with potato and a vegetable, along with beverages, according to the Facebook invitation.

“I like to be here as much as I can for everybody,” Markos said. We all have something to give. It doesn’t matter how much we give. Just give something.”

Markos said his customers never say “no” and are always supportive of any event at Brothers Deli. He said if everyone does something to help, the problem in Puerto Rico can be solved.

“Nobody in the world deserves to go through what they’re going through,” Markos said.

Carmen Guy, a Revere resident who works in Lynn, is a nurse practitioner originally from Puerto Rico, and was one of the driving forces behind getting the fundraiser started. She said she wanted to donate her time and money to go down to Puerto Rico to give relief.

She said she came into Brothers Deli one day for lunch and mentioned that she was planning to go to the U.S. territory to give her time as a nurse practitioner, Markos said they should do a fundraiser.

Guy said all proceeds will go toward B Strong & Delivering Good, a foundation that is dedicated to helping individuals and families affected by recent disasters. Those funds will then be distributed to Puerto Rico.

Guy said she still hasn’t heard from some of her family in Puerto Rico because there’s no signal. She still has a house down there, but doesn’t know what state it’s in. She said people have had to deal with flooding and have struggled to get food and supplies in the aftermath of the hurricane. The goal of the fundraiser and donating her time as a nurse practitioner is just to provide the people there with a little relief.

Vivian and Peter Pamel, a married couple who lives in Montreal, made the five-hour drive specifically to attend the fundraiser. Vivian said they heard of the event from her uncle, Tony Katsianis, who works at Brothers Deli, and they thought it was a wonderful initiative.

Peter said they were there to support their friends in Puerto Rico, along with Markos and the folks at Brothers Deli. Vivian said the fundraiser is about spreading the word that people in Puerto Rico need help and similar grassroots initiatives are important for them.

Jacob Mercado, a Lynn resident, said he is Puerto Rican and hasn’t been able to communicate with some of his family members, including his cousins and uncles, since the hurricane made landfall. He said he saw some of his cousin’s pictures of the hurricane on Facebook, but didn’t hear back after trying to contact him. His mother and father were born in Puerto Rico, but later moved to the states.

“We’re still nervous since we haven’t been able to communicate with anyone,” Mercado said.

Mercado said he came to show support for the people suffering, who don’t have electricity, and to help the people in need.

“People need to show love,” Mercado said. “Love goes a long way.”

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